Although Keely did not immediately think ‘meningitis’ she knew he was far from well and drove him straight to A and E.
Thankfully her quick thinking helped Bobby get the treatment he needed. She tells their story here.
“On the morning of 31 January 2015 my son Bobby woke up with a rash on his back. As the morning went on he developed a high temperature. Bobby is the youngest of four children and my oldest son, Jack, was concerned about him. He said, "Mum, he’s definitely not himself".
“We gave Bobby Calpol and ibuprofen but his temperature wasn’t coming down. When I stripped him off he had more spots. I did the glass test and some of the rash was blanching and some wasn’t. I thought I needed to get medical advice as I knew my son wasn’t right and was very concerned. He was becoming sleepy, not very responsive and didn’t want to eat or drink.
“In Rochdale we have an urgent care centre so I thought I would take him to be checked over. On my way there in the car Bobby deteriorated rapidly. Jack, who’s 16, was in the back of the car and said, "Mum, pull over, he’s not right".
Eyes were rolling
“As I looked in the back of the car my son’s eyes were rolling and I knew he wasn’t right. So, I drove him straight to accident and emergency at Royal Oldham.
“Bobby was becoming worse and I knew this was something more serious than a viral infection. He was taken straight through to triage, where a paediatric doctor was requested by the triage nurse for a second opinion. He was taken through to resuscitation where the doctor said he needed bloods and he was put on oxygen.
“He wasn’t maintaining his oxygen saturation levels so, after that they intubated him. There were lots of doctors and nurses working on him.
“Thanks to my quick thinking and Oldham Hospital giving him the antibiotics he needed he was then transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital PICU via Newts, with a specialist team. He spent five days in PICU and responded well to the treatment but not the sedation.
“He was however showing what a little fighter he was. They had to keep increasing the sedation as he was trying to fight it - that’s Bobby’s feisty character!
“The nurses and doctors were amazing and they explained everything to us. I didn’t realise there were so many different types of meningitis. Because he was up to date with his immunisation I never thought that it would be that, but unfortunately it was MenC, which he hasn’t been immunised against because he didn’t fit the age bracket or the criteria.
“Luckily for us our miracle Bobby beat it and he was discharged on 13 February 2015.
“He had further check-ups afterwards for his hearing and further damage and unfortunately has a slight deafness in his right ear. But that’s a small price to pay considering how poorly he was. For a while he suffered with the night terrors and he’s still a sleepy boy.
“It was a traumatic experience seeing my child so poorly, and caused me lots of anxiety. My other children Jack, Erin and Orlaith Mae were affected by it too and we as a family are very nervous now when he gets ill.
“Bobby’s daddy Patrick now does a lot of fundraising for Manchester Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, where myself and my husband and our three other children stayed while Bobby was poorly.
“We are also interested in fundraising for Meningitis Now to raise awareness and money for research.”